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Thursday Discussion: Favorite Splits Besides Bananas

Posted by - 03:16 PM on 07/05/12
I really love the concept of split records. It's a way to gain a couple more tracks while waiting on a new LP, or even a way to see the direction a band may move into between records. One of the best parts may be buying a split which contains one of your favorite artists, and end up discovering a new favorite on the other side. Splits can also be a reflection of where artists once were versus what they became. Have you ever heard the Cave In/Piebald split? Two completely different bands then what they became, right? There are also instances where one band from one side of a split blows up and another doesn't. There are a lot of stories beyond just the music that lies in a split recording. Today I'm going to share ten notable splits that are either highly underrated, overlooked or just a personal favorite. There are a lot of great ones out there worth mentioning, so hit the replies and let everyone know which splits turned you onto other artists or introduced you to a whole other genre you've been missing out on.

1. Breather Resist / HarkonenTwo of the heaviest and smartest bands to grace music. Breather Resist (who would later become Young Widows) is the blueprint for how to make thought provoking chaos in the vein of The Chariot and Octaves. While Botch claimed a lot of the glory, Breather Resist should also get credit due, and this contains two of their strongest tracks. Harkonen is the band every other band who plays rock music should want to sound like when it comes to overall sound. The highs of the guitars squeal perfectly through the exit of "Plum Fierce," and are a reminder that tone really is everything (to me anyway.)

2. Touche Amore / La Dispute - Searching For A Pulse/The Worth Of The WorldOne of the best splits in the past decade. Two bands that were nothing and grew to be everything. If you're scratching your head wondering how and why that happened, this would be one of my main examples in writing a thesis about it. Sharing vocal duties and giving a glimpse into what would be both band's biggest and best albums to date, both sides are unforgiving and exorcise a feeling that changed what's popular now versus what was popular towards the biter end of the last decade.

3. Still Life / EvergreenThis is the OG of the scene right here. To me, this is where all the whining and angst began. Still Life's brash delivery on "Barriers" is unsettling with its political soundbyte before the rough punk delivery thereafter. Then there's Evergreen's "250 Dollar Loser" and "Bully Rag," which, if released years later on a split with The Jazz June - would have been a perfect pair signing to the Drive Thru and Vagrant many of us grew up with. But alas, in 1993, I only knew about the radio and no one even began to blindly use the term "emo" when at a loss for words. (side note: The vinyl itself is also a reminder of how cool a 7" packaging could be past a simple inner sleeve. It could be close to a zine as well."

4. Coliseum / Young WidowsI didn't know this existed until I happened to come across it on a record store visit. I'm glad I did. If you don't already know that Coliseum is a beast among the underground metal greats, then "Skyline Fucker" will put things into perspective for you. As for Young Widows - coming out around the same time as Settle Down City, both tracks prove to be some of the band's angriest and gnarliest before moving into the direction they did.

5. The Saddest Landscape / Pianos Become the TeethThis is the split where you see the return of one great post-hardcore band the blossoming of a new one. "Death Becomes Us" is one last moment where The Saddest Landscape were their former selves before moving into new songwriting territory. Like a b-side to 2010's Old Pride, "New Normal" is another glimpse at a band that "once was" before releasing an album from a more confident band they found themselves to be. There are certain splits where you can hear the last "sound" of a band before they wrote "that different album," and this is one of them - for both parties involved.

6. By the End of Tonight / Tera Melos - Complex Full of PhantomsMath and pop at its finest. That's all you need to know about this one. Just try and keep up.

7. Raein / Funeral DinerThe east meets the west in one of the best splits in post-hardcore. Containing two of my three favorite Raein tracks (the third on the split with Phoenix Bodies), "This Life My Cage" is exhausting and gives everything, and I'm always waiting for the pinch-harmonic part in "On Air" every time I listen to the track. Funeral Diner's "Welcome to My Book Collection" build and release is some of the band's finest work. (writer's note: I do think "I Was the Sword" is Funeral Diner's best "split" track though.)

8. Pelican / These Arms Are SnakesWhen bands get together to "cover" other bands' material on splits, it can be a hit or "meh" moment for some. Then there is this split, where two bands get together on both tracks and create apocalyptic renditions of notable tracks more notable this time around. I tend to forget there's another version of "Gold Diggers" on These Arms Are Snakes first EP, because this is the only one that matters.

9. Mid Carson July / The Jazz June - Flowers Make Everything BetterAnother record store find when flipping through the new used arrivals. For $2 I picked it up and have no regrets. Again, another two bands that were just writing hooks a couple of years before we started understanding what a good hook was. If you don't think The Jazz June's "Bleach In Your Eyes" is the best Starting Line track the band never wrote, then you're one jaded listener. These two tracks are the prerequisite to what would eventually blow-up at the start of the next millennium.

10. Gifts From Enola / Caravels - Well WornI know this split came out this year, but this is the best split to come out in some time from two of the most underrated bands right now. Gifts From Enola shift into a more "guns-blazing" delivery with "Angel Face." Caravels put out their best tracks to date, and one of the best songs of 2012 with "Bone Voyage" and it's constantly building structure whose conclusion continues to give chills with every listen. If you haven't heard this split yet this year, you're fucking up majorly.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 72
03:19 PM on 07/05/12
#2
Alex DiVincenzo
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I love the Transit/Man Overboard split. "Please Head North" is still my favorite Transit song.

Alkaline Trio/Hot Water Music, The Saddest Landscape/Trophy Scars and Balance and Composure/Tigers Jaw are up there too. Plus that Glamour Kills Tour split was rad.
03:20 PM on 07/05/12
#3
The Old Black
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Alkaline Trio/ Hot Water Music:

The originals are great and so are the covers. I love the HWM cover of Bleeder
03:21 PM on 07/05/12
#4
EndlessPrisoner
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The IIOI/Everyone Everywhere split, amongst the other IIOI splits.
Every split that Empire! Empire! has ever been on.
The American Scene/Daybreaker split that came out last year finally got me excited for new The American Scene material, their opening song is the best they've done.
Balance and Composure/Tigers Jaw split was awesome too.
And the Purity Ring/Braids split, because both bands are fucking awesome.

Also, can't not mention Thursday/Envy.
03:21 PM on 07/05/12
#5
skibby15
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by the end of tonight/tera melos is awesome.
03:23 PM on 07/05/12
#6
Alex DiVincenzo
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The IIOI/Everyone Everywhere split, amongst the other IIOI splits.
Every split that Empire! Empire! has ever been on.
The American Scene/Daybreaker split that came out last year finally got me excited for new The American Scene material, their opening song is the best they've done.
Balance and Composure/Tigers Jaw split was awesome too.
And the Purity Ring/Braids split, because both bands are fucking awesome.

Also, can't not mention Thursday/Envy.
I was surprised Adam didn't mention Thursday/Envy. That's another good one.
03:26 PM on 07/05/12
#7
Adam Pfleider
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I was surprised Adam didn't mention Thursday/Envy. That's another good one.
oh man! yeah, that one is good. too late now. :(
03:27 PM on 07/05/12
#8
MMarker
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The Story So Far / Maker split.
TSSF seemed to have blown up after USAD, leaving Maker in the dust.

The new Citizen / Turnover and A Loss For Words / Such Gold splits are incredible too.
Some of the best AL4W songs to date.
03:28 PM on 07/05/12
#9
flask
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Thursday/Envy is my favorite. I always hoped they would play An Absurd and Unrealistic Dream of Peace.
03:31 PM on 07/05/12
georgedcc
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Matt Skiba / Kevin Seconds split was a good 'un.

Lookig forward to the Converge / Napalm Death split. When is that coming out?
03:31 PM on 07/05/12
JTHomeslice
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That NOFX/Rancid split is pretty rad.
03:33 PM on 07/05/12
hansislegend
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Thursday/Envy, Chuck Ragan/Loved Ones, Love American/Harbours, Bouncing Souls/HWM, Touche/La Dispute.
03:36 PM on 07/05/12
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Moneen/Alexisonfire released my favorite split ever.

More recently, I have really enjoyed IIOI/Such Gold (got me into IIOI), The American Scene/Daybreaker, Balance & Composure/Tigers Jaw (got me into Tigers Jaw), Pianos Become The Teeth/The Saddest Landscape.
03:37 PM on 07/05/12
TCat71
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The Promise Ring/Texas Is The Reason
Braid/The Get Up Kids
03:38 PM on 07/05/12
rawesome
Listen to Dave Hause pls
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I know it's been said a bunch already, but the Hot Water Music/Alkaline Trio split is undeniably the greatest thing in the history of ever.

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